5:30 PM17:30

Challenge The Category, Not The Consumer: Packaging Design

"The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity." - Robert Anthony


The food and beverage industry is rife with brands that adhere to category conventions. That play by the old guard's rules, that follow suit and are often forgotten. With more brands and products than ever before, differentiation via design is critical. No matter what category you're in, there will be competitors that are bigger, have deeper pockets, more reach, more established audiences and more spend than you. But what these more established companies won't do - is take risk. Challenge norms, stand out, and disrupt - be it on shelf or on-line. Fred Hart and Blake Mitchell of Interact Boulder will share their expertise about what it takes to interact with consumers through strategic packaging and branding strategies that can give you a winning edge. Join us, listen in and get answers to your questions.

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7:30 AM07:30

Morning Mingle!

Coffee and pastries on the house! Meet up with some of you fellow CFW members to chat about the food and beverage industry in Colorado and nationwide. We’ll be meeting at the Whole Foods Market Union Station. Parking in the underground garage with any WFM purchase. See you there!

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5:30 PM17:30

Business Card Bingo

You've done it! You're survived Expo West

Now you're sifting through stacks of business cards looking for business leads when you realize you didn't get the name of that one key contact you were looking for.

We've got you covered...come out to Colorado Food Works Business Card Bingo Happy Hour on Thursday, March 14th. Bring your newly connected business cards from Expo to share contacts with other Colorado natural food companies.

This event is free for all, so bring a friend! The first cocktail will be on Colorado Food Works (while supplies last).

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5:30 PM17:30

Women of CPG - Leaders Panel

Back by popular demand, we are hosting our second “Women of CPG” panel discussion. Some of the industry’s most influential and inspiring women in an open panel with a Q&A session from our members.

Panelists include:
Tamarah Saif (Charlottes Web, Green Chef)

Alex Carone (Honest Stand)

Sarah Bird (Bhatki Chai)  

Sarah Hughes (Yai’s Tai)

Rachel Kopfensteiner (King Soopers/City Market)

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5:30 PM17:30

Think like a B

Set Some New Intentions

Whether or not you are a B Corp or want to become one, there are things you can do to engage and come in/design your business with a “force for good movement mentality” and things you can do to embed social / environmental / transparency into your business from the start to formalize your path and hold true to it (regardless of potential acquisitions/changes/expansions to your brand).

Join us on Thursday, January 31 at 5:30pm
at Enterprise CoWorking, 3000 Lawrence Street, Denver
Refreshments will be provided. Street parking available.

FREE for Members. $10 for Non-Members.

Our Speaker: Deanna Bratter

Senior Director, Public Benefit and Sustainable Development
Danone North America

Deanna Bratter is the Senior Director of Sustainable Development for Danone North America, the largest public benefit corporation and the largest Certified B Corporation in the world. Deanna drives the company sustainability strategy and programs to support the interconnectivity between the health of people and the health of the planet; and works to amplify the positive impacts of sustainability within the business.

Deanna oversees the organizations nature and sustainability focus areas including commitments to advancing regenerative agriculture, water stewardship, carbon reductions, improving packaging, and supporting people and communities.


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Colorado Food Works Ugly Sweater Party and Charity Food Drive
5:30 PM17:30

Colorado Food Works Ugly Sweater Party and Charity Food Drive

CFW’s annual ugly sweater holiday party and charity food drive supporting Metro Caring. Pull on your favorite holiday sweater and meet us at Improper City for drinks, small bites, and conversation. Each person attending will receive a free drink ticket.

This event is open to members and non members at no cost.

As part of the event, we are proud to support our non profit partner, Metro Caring, with a food drive. Each attendee is asked to bring a food item. A few recommendations:

Fruits and Veggies

  • Individual packets of kale chips or other veggie chips low in salt (<140mg/serving)

  • Dried fruit-based bars

  • Nut and dried fruit bags

  • Other dried fruit in individual packets, no added sugar

Whole Grains

  • Oat-based snack bars

  • Whole grain cereals

  • Other grain based snacks

Improper City

Improper City

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5:30 PM17:30

Investor Night - Learn the Foundations of Choosing a Smart Investment Partners

It is inevitable, that at some point in the life cycle of a brand, you'll need capital to continue to grow. Whether that capital is needed to fund purchase orders, build a team or for R&D, fundraising is a crucial puzzle piece in the evolution of a successful brand.

Partnering with the right strategic investment partner is one of the most important decisions a founder will make. It should be approached with a solid understand of the agreement and partnership.

Our esteemed panel of investors include some of the brightest names and firms in the natural food space. 

Carole Buyers – BIGR Ventures -
Bruce Morgan – P2Bi -
Stephen Daubert - Echo Capital Group -
Ben Fenton – BFG Partners -

Free for members | $10.00 for non-members

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5:30 PM17:30

Naturally Boulder and CFW collaborative Networking Night

Join Colorado Food Works and Naturally Boulder
for our first ever collaboration!

Teatulia Tea Bar -2904 Zuni St, Denver
November 12th 5:30-7:30

Ever wonder about becoming B-corp Certified or becoming a 1% for the Planet business? 
Naturally Boulder and Colorado Food Works are hosting a collaborative Networking Night + Meet Conscious Businesses! The panel will have a range of different brands and businesses that all focus on conscious business and leadership that help nourish company culture as well as greater impact. Meet and learn those leader who conscious business seriously!

This event is free for Colorado Food Works and Naturally Boulder members, $10 at the door for non-members

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5:30 PM17:30

Craft Distilling- Spirit Brands Go Local

Join our panel of craft distillers and vintners from Distillery 38, Jack Rabbit Hill Farm, Rising Sun Distillery, 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery as they tell their stories about making profit from their passion. The panel will discuss everything from formulation to operations to distribution in the growing industry of craft alcohol.

This event is free for members, $10 at the door for non-members.

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2:00 PM14:00

Denver Start Up Week: Founders Panel

2017 was a landmark year for both Colorado Food Works and for the natural foods industry. In March of 2017, CFW launched as a forum for a few friends to gather and share resources. From this humble beginning, CFW has grown to more than 400 members has become a pillar of support in the booming natural foods industry in Colorado.

Concurrently, the natural foods industry is attracting more attention, more capital and more entrepreneurs than ever before. High profile acquisitions like RXBar from Kellogs for $600m and Snyder’s-Lance to Campbells for $6.1 billion have set the tone that “natural and organic” food options are no longer a fad but a lifestyle. The movement has also spawned a surge of investment projects from legacy food giants, too. From General Mills creating their investment arm 301 Inc. to Chobani’s natural food incubator program, opportunity is everywhere.

In our sophomore Denver Startup Week session, CFW will again highlight some of the industry’s most prolific “foodtrepreneurs.” We’ll look to the founder“foodtrepreneurs” to colorfully narrate their stories of trial, failure and ultimately, of success. We’ll follow a short storytelling format that allows panelists to touch on those topics they find most relevant to the next generation of “foodtrepreneurs.” Finally, we’ll conclude our session with a quick-fire q&A session with our panelists.

Colorado Food Works is proud to have grown into an organization that provides educational and networking resources to our budding food community. Learn more at and follow us on LinkedIn.

This event is free to attend.

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6:00 PM18:00

Colorado Food Works Summer Sizzler- Rooftop Party

Colorado Food Works is excited to announce our inaugural Summer Sizzler to our ever-growing community!

In the last year, our amazing CFW community has grown to more than 400 engaged members! We couldn't be prouder of helping advance the food and beverage community here in Colorado. We feel a party is in order to thank each of you for helping us grow to this point and to celebrate the success of our industry as a whole.

Event Details

  • Free admission!
  • DiFranco's Italian passed appetizers 
  • Signature cocktails, beer and wine - TWO drink tickets per guest 
  • Live DJ - because who doesn't love dancing?
  •  Theme? Of course there's a theme. This year's Summer Sizzler is taking CFW to the beach. Be sure to come in your best beach attire.
  • Amazing views of mountains and Denver skyline are complimentary.
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5:30 PM17:30

Whole Foods Market Town Hall

Colorado Food Works is honored to host Whole Foods Market - Rocky Mountain for this much anticipated Town Hall event.

Join us for an evening of networking, followed by a panel session made up of Whole Foods veterans. The panel will field questions from the audience on a range of topics to help brands grow their businesses. 

Here's who is on the panel:

  • Darcy Landis: Coordinator – Local Products (All Categories): 19 years with WFM in Rocky Mountain and Southern Pacific regions
  • Kari McGuiness: Coordinator – Specialty (Cheese, Beer, Wine, Taprooms): 18 years with WFM in Rocky Mountain, Florida, Southern Pacific and Midwest regions
  • Melanie Judge: Senior Buyer – Local Products (Grocery Category): 15 years with WFM in Rocky Mountain region

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Do you have a question you'd like to see asked?
Submit your question below.

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CPG in DEN Networking Mixer
5:30 PM17:30

CPG in DEN Networking Mixer

ForceBrands, Colorado Food Works, 34 Degrees, and Interact Boulder are coming together to bring you CPG in DEN Networking Mixer!

Please join us for an evening of creativity, inspiration, and conversation. The CPG in DEN Networking Mixer will give you a small taste of the kinds of opportunities and connections you can expect as an active member in the thriving Denver community.


  • Name tags will be provided to all attendees
  • Please remember to bring plenty of business cards
  • Dress code is casual

This event is FREE to attend. Must RSVP.


Please use #cpginden to share comments or pics from this event

***As alcoholic drinks are served at this venue, all attendees must be 21+.***


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6:00 PM18:00

Networking Night - Women in CPG "Baddassery in the Boardroom"

This event is free for members, $10 at the door for non-members. 

Colorado Food Works, in partnership with The Women of Denver, is proud to present our February event, “Women in CPG: Bad-Assery in the Boardroom.” This exciting joint event will feature a panel of fascinating and inspiring women with experiences ranging from start-ups to big CPG, from not for profit organizations to mission focused companies, and an opportunity to network and be inspired by some of the best and brightest in Denver. Join us for an evening celebrating the women of Denver and our vibrant food scene. Be sure to have your questions ready and business cards in hand!

Panelists will include

  • Victoria Hartman – VP of Sales Lotus Foods
  • Jane Miller –; former CEO of Hannah Max Cookie Chips and Rudi’s Organic
  • Mara Fleishman – CEO Chef Ann Foundation
  • Alex Hanifin – CEO Alpine Start
  • Linda Appel Lipsius – CEO Teatulia
  • Maddy Hasulak – CEO Love Grown Foods
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5:30 PM17:30

Holiday Happy Hour

We know the holidays can be a busy time with holiday parties and travel, so for our December event we'll be putting on a low-key networking happy hour.

We'll also be partnering with "There With Care", an organization that provides compassionate, kind, and practical support to local families with critically ill children.  One of the greatest challenges to those families is having the time, money, and energy to shop for basic food and household needs.

We ask that you bring one food item in the below categories:

Macaroni & Cheese
Salty Snacks (crackers, pretzels, nut packs, seaweed, meat sticks, etc…)

Lastly, all attendees are urged to come adorned in an ugly holiday sweater ... those that do, will get their first drink on the house! There is no charge to attend this networking event.

Safe travels and Happy Holidays!


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5:30 PM17:30

Networking Night - "Surviving the Jungle: A Guide to Amazon Success "

If you've worked in the industry in the past 3 months, no doubt you've seen the constant news about Amazon moving into the natural foods space.

There is no shortage of questions! How will this affect my business? How can my brand best work with Amazon? How do I even get started on Amazon? We've got you covered! Colorado Food Works is excited to welcome Amazon broker extraordinaire Beekeeper Marketing to Denver on Thursday November 9th to help answer these questions and more.

The landscape of entire grocery world is undergoing a massive pivot and things are being shaken up like never before. Sumi Mukoyama, from Beekeeper,  will guide business owners through the fundamentals of building strong foundations when selling on Amazon and using digital marketing tools to reach their maximum potential. Topics will include how to sell on Amazon, how to increase discoverability, and how to set your products up for success on an eCommerce platform.

Complimentary cocktail and networking hour will begin at 5:30 followed by Beekeeper promptly at 6:30. Help us spread the word to friends and colleagues.

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8:00 AM08:00

Denver Start Up Week - Natural Foods 3-0-3

Our session will be called “Natural Foods 3-O-3”. We’ve compiled a group of industry veterans that will discuss the important must-haves needed to succeed as a Natural Foods startup. The panel will be made up of established CEOs, distributors, brokers and VPs of Sales, Marketing and Operations. Our panel will help create a road map for budding entrepreneurs on what the first and next steps are; from production, to distribution straight through to marketing your brand. Our experts will share their insights on the 3 largest “dos and donts” they’ve learned. This will be followed by a “road-mapping” (live consulting) segment for 1 lucky startup willing to participate. This lucky company will also win a free consulting package from CFW members.

In addition, Colorado Food Works will facilitate 2-3 tents at the farmers market on the opening day. We’ll bring together our family of vendors to sample out their products and also showcase Colorado Food Works’ value to Denver’s startup community.



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